PayPal is an international electronic finance service owned by eBay Inc. In terms of popularity, PayPal is pretty much the default e-commerce option for millions of people all over the world and is hands down the most popular business of this kind in the United States.
The company is based in San Jose, California and as such has to follow strict US online gambling regulations. Consequently, many people aren’t even aware that PayPal allows you to deposit to numerous Europe-facing online gambling sites, including real money casinos, poker rooms, and sportsbooks. Just like in the case of other popular e-wallets, PayPal transactions are safe, convenient and fast.
Despite the somewhat limited availability, PayPal is an excellent deposit method for all kinds of gamblers. The company offers amazing protection against unauthorized payments, which significantly reduces the risk of fraud and your susceptibility to hacking attempts.
Furthermore, it is worth pointing out that PayPal doesn’t deal with shady gambling sites, which means that if you all the sites that support PayPal banking are pretty much guaranteed to be trustworthy. All in all, if you’re an inexperienced gambler or you don’t want to go through the hassle of setting up another e-wallet account specifically for real money gaming purposes, you simply can’t go wrong with PayPal.
As briefly touched on above, PayPal is very reluctant when it comes to partnering with online gambling companies, which shouldn’t be all that surprising if you consider how hostile the US Department of Justice is towards most forms of online gambling. As a result, even the companies that don’t have any qualms about refusing to accept US-based players have serious problems with securing PayPal’s cooperation.
This means that the number of PayPal-friendly poker networks and casino sites is extremely limited – only the largest Europe-facing gambling giants such as Ladbrokes, 888 or Bet365 support PayPal deposits and cash outs. In fact, if a gambling business isn’t listed on the London Stock Exchange and doesn’t have a perfect track record, odds are high it won’t offer PayPal banking.
PayPal offers an excellent e-wallet service, but the policies of its owners prevent it from ever becoming a major factor in the online gambling world. If you don’t have a PayPal account yet, I’d never recommend signing up for one just to cover your real money gaming expenses.
In the end, other e-commerce services like Neteller or Skrill offer similar levels of customer safety or flexibility while simultaneously allowing you to enjoy virtually every real money gambling product available on the market these days. However, if you already own a PayPal account and you find a PayPal-friendly gambling site that you might enjoy, I’d definitely recommend choosing this method over a credit card or a bank wire transfer.
Making a PayPal deposit is very simple and is quite similar to using any other e-wallet option. If you don’t have a PayPal account, you can set one up as long as you have an e-mail address and a bank account. Transferring the money from PayPal to a gambling site requires you to enter the cashier menu, pick PayPal as the preferred deposit option, choose the amount of funds that you’d like to send and confirming your payment. All PayPal-friendly gambling sites process e-wallet deposits without any unnecessary delays, so the money should become available for playing within seconds from making the transfer.
Furthermore, PayPal fees tend to be ridiculously low and some sites might even offer exclusive PayPal-exclusive bonuses, which means that using this method is an excellent way to maximize the potential of the welcome bonuses offered by most casinos and poker rooms, as well as other deposit promotions, such as reloads or free bets. Unlike Neteller, PayPal doesn’t offer a prepaid card that would allow you to access your e-wallet via an ATM, which means that actually cashing out requires you to transfer the money from PayPal to your bank account.
Most financial institutions aren’t able to offer their services to American gambling enthusiasts due to the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006, which explicitly prohibits them from processing any gambling-related payments. Regrettably, PayPal is no different in this regard – the company is based in the United States, so it’s simply forced to abide by the US law. Skill game sites are pretty much the only exception to this rule due to the fact that their products have a different legal status than the games offered by poker rooms or casino sites.
It’s also worth pointing out that while PayPal deposits are perfectly legal in states that have already regulated online gambling, such as Nevada, New Jersey or Delaware, the company is extremely reluctant to enter those markets, claiming that transactions of this kind are inherently unsafe. Consequently, the customers of those sites have to rely on other e-wallet services, such as Neteller or Skrill.